Mushroom Carbonara with Gruyere and Hazelnuts

mushroom carbonara in a skillet with tongs

Mushroom Carbonara with Gruyere and Hazelnuts is a cozy 30 minute dinner with restaurant flavor. It might just become your favorite (almost) meatless meal!

tossing mushroom carbonara with gruyere and hazelnuts

mushroom carbonara

This mushroom carbonara recipe takes the classic Italian pasta alla carbonara in a new direction while still maintaining the brilliant concept that has made the dish a favorite for generations. It’s a 30 minute meal that begins by frying guanciale (pig jowl) or pancetta in a skillet, then tossing in hot pasta with a beaten egg and aged cheese mixture. This, with the help of a little starchy cooking water, becomes a silky sauce that clings to the pasta in a very luxurious way. No wonder it’s everybody’s favorite late night meal.

pasta alla carbonara history

Pasta carbonara has a fuzzy history, no one is quite sure how or when it originated, but interestingly it’s not super old ~ the first published recipe for it, according to Italy magazine, was in 1954. That recipe called for, wait for it…gruyere cheese! (So nobody can complain that my recipe isn’t traditional, lol.)

serving mushroom carbonara into a bowl

gather your ingredients

This idea was inspired by Jamie Oliver, who recently made a mushroom carbonara. While I didn’t end up using his recipe, he’s always an inspiration!

  • pasta
    • I’ve used fettuccine, but spaghetti or linguine will work, too. I’d stick to a strand style pasta for this dish.
  • mushrooms
    • baby bellas or button mushrooms are easy because your supermarket carries them, but feel free to get creative with other varieties.
  • fresh sage
    • a lovely fall herb that doesn’t see enough action, if you ask me.
  • hazelnuts
    • toast them first for intense flavor. I do this right in the microwave, instructions below. Don’t even think about adding raw hazelnuts to your pasta!
  • pancetta
    • guanciale (pig jowl) or pancetta bacon is traditional. Leave it out for a vegetarian dish.
  • gruyere cheese
    • a departure from traditional? Maybe not! The earliest printed recipe for carbonara called for it.
  • eggs
    • you’ll use mostly yolks and one whole egg. The white from the whole egg gives the sauce the perfect texture. Egg whites can curdle, though, so no more than one.
cooking mushrooms, pancetta, and sage for mushroom carbonara

cream in your carbonara?

There’s no cream in carbonara ~ the ‘creamy’ sauce is the result of an emulsion created by agitating (tossing) the eggs, cheese, and hot starchy water.

how to make mushroom carbonara

  1. Cook pasta in plenty of well salted pasta water. Be sure to reserve some to make the silky sauce!
  2. Fry chopped pancetta in a large skillet until crisp. (If you want to go meatless, maybe use garlic and olive oil.)
  3. Add mushrooms and sage to the pan and cook until the mushrooms are browned. Toss the hazelnuts into the pan.
  4. Whisk eggs in a bowl and blend in cheese. Loosen with a little hot pasta water.
  5. Add dripping wet pasta to the pan and toss to combine.
  6. Off the heat, add the egg and cheese mixture and toss vigorously, adding hot pasta water as needed to get a glossy sauce that clings to the pasta.
  7. Serve asap with more cheese and toasted hazelnuts.

sautéing mushrooms for mushroom carbonara

tips for carbonara pastas

  • Hold off on adding any extra salt to your dish until you taste it ~ the pancetta, cheese and salted pasta water are probably enough.
  • I like a high ratio of mushrooms to pasta, but you can easily add more pasta to stretch your servings.
  • What about using shaped pastas? I don’t recommend it, the silky carbonara sauce clings to the long strands perfectly. Why mess with perfection?
  • If you don’t love fresh sage (it’s an acquired taste) use fresh parsley instead.
  • You can use other hard cheeses in place of gruyere ~ Parmesan or Romano are traditional.
  • Add a little spice with red pepper flakes, add them when sautéing the mushrooms.
  • For a vegetarian carbonara, leave out the pancetta ~ you might use truffle oil to replace the rendered fat!
  • If you do get a bit of a scrambled egg texture to your sauce (been there, done that,) don’t worry, it will still taste amazing. One of my favorite recipes is my Breakfast Pasta Carbonara which leans into the scrambled eggs 🙂
mushroom carbonara in a skillet with tongs

more easy pasta dinners

mushroom carbonara in white bowls with fresh sage
mushroom carbonara in a skillet with tongs
5 from 8 votes

Mushroom Carbonara with Gruyere and Hazelnuts

Mushroom Carbonara with Gruyere and Hazelnuts is a cozy 30 minute dinner with restaurant flavor. It'll be your favorite (almost) meatless meal!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Yield 4 servings
Calories 638kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 4 ounces pancetta, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp sage, finely sliced
  • 4 ounces gruyere, freshly grated (about 1 cup), plus extra for topping
  • 3 egg yolks, plus 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 lb fettuccine pasta
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped


  • Cook pasta to al dente, reserving about 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
  • Meanwhile in a large skillet, add the olive oil and pancetta. Cook until the pancetta is crispy.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the egg. Add the grated gruyere cheese.
  • Add the mushrooms and sliced sage to the pan and continue to cook until the mushrooms are lightly browned.
  • To assemble, add the hot pasta and the toasted hazelnuts to the pan with the mushrooms and the pancetta and toss to combine.
  • Whisk a little of the hot pasta water into the egg and cheese mixure to temper and loosen it. Off the heat, pour the egg and cheese mixture into the skillet and toss everything quickly to avoid scrambling the egg. Add anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1 cup of reserved pasta water as you're tossing to create a silky sauce that clings to the pasta.
  • Serve immediately topped with more grated cheese. So good 🙂

Cook’s notes

To toast hazelnuts put them on a baking sheet and toast in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes, giving it a shake once or twice during that time.


Calories: 638kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 243mg | Sodium: 412mg | Potassium: 601mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 512IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 372mg | Iron: 3mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
mushroom carbonara pin

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1 Comment

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    5 stars
    My goodness this was HEAVENLY!!! I’ve always shied away from carbonara as I have this thing about runny yolks that I just can’t do. However I tried it a few weeks ago in a restaurant and fell in love – then your recipe hit my inbox. Made it tonight with just a few small changes: I used smoked gruyere (I think this is what I loved the most), bucatini and toasted slivered almonds as that’s what I had on hand. So good that I had to change into stretchy yoga pants after dinner. The only thing I would change next time is add just a bit more pasta water at the end as it became a bit too starchy and thick as it cooled in the bowl. Can’t wait to make this again for company and can’t thank you enough for sharing such delicious recipes with us 🙂

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